Smile, Laugh, Thrive… Richard Branson book review
The sleeve notes say “Learn the Secrets of a Global Icon” and go on to list 4 of the many truths he has learnt on his path to success:
1. Have faith in yourself 2. Believe that anything can be done
3. Live life to the full 4. Never give up
I love this man! To be frank, the book leaves you breathless – there are pages that seem so far-fetched, so rooted in the realms of surreality & wishful thinking that I found myself having to shove my jaw closed. Some of the stories seem almost ridiculous and more like an episode of Brass Tacks (remember that??) or some Armandi Iannucci sketch show. Until you remember these things really happened! As evidenced by the media, by the historians and commentators of the day. Branson is a living, breathing embodiment of all the “truths” he passes on to us. He is evidence in the raw of Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, and his humanitarian exploits and truly awe inspiring actions in the run up to the invasion of Iraq prove that.
Time for a controversial angle? There’s no doubting his thirst for knowledge, for adventure and no doubting his need to push the human spirit of achievement to its absolute pinnacle – but what about his family? His young children and his wife would have been recipients of a letter telling them how much he loved them and how much he valued a sense of freedom and opportunity to rise to any challenge, had he died on any of the attempts to cross immense swathes of sea and sky by power boat & air balloon. Would that have been okay? Isn’t there an element of selfishness in that? Growing up without your Dad, however much he was revered by others, may well seem a poor second to having him around in your formative years.
Let’s not forget though – he survived some pretty dire odds and he is still here to tell the tales – what tales! For every motivational book and technique that you find and try, there will be a story from Richard Branson that is a practical case study – pure and simple.
Smile, Laugh and Thrive – stand up to your obstacles, they have half the strength you think they have. Break free of your fears and don’t them live your life. Richard Branson, take a bow…
Screw It, Let’s Do It – Lessons in Life Quick Read – Amazon £2.62 + p&p